Hydroponics - Preventive Measures

Even in the controlled environment of hydroponic gardens, some faults may occur. Gardeners can handle these deficiencies or avoid them altogether with the right products and a good game plan for plant care, resulting in a better yield and a much more enjoyable experience.

Getting the proper amount of nutrients to your plants takes time. The process of "optimization" combines and delivers certain nutrients in a specific fashion, all targeted at the type of plant and stage of growth.

Tackling deficiencies and delivering the proper nutrients requires knowledge. One of the best ways to collect that knowledge is by talking with experienced hydroponic gardens in your community. They can help to uncover the "do's" and "don'ts" of hydroponic gardening, helping you to start well and grow a better crop.

Some Helpful Tips

  • pH Levels – Check your pH balance daily and try to keep your nutrient solutions in the ideal pH range (between 5.5 and 6.5). Neglecting your solution results in a buildup of bacteria, which will in turn cause the solution to drift beyond ideal pH levels. And the longer your system stays outside of this range, the higher the risk to your plants. You need to find balance. Aeration at the right temperature (at or below 71 degrees) causes a rise in both aerobic bacteria and pH levels, but if you get those temps too high, anaerobic bacteria rises and pH levels drop. Be aware that anaerobic bacteria also causes root rot. Use a pH adjustment product made for hydroponic systems (pharmaceutical grades work well) to bring your solution back in line.
  • Temperature Levels – Nutrient solutions should remain cool to temperate, falling between 66 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Pay attention to this measurement, especially if you live within a particularly warm or cold climate. Insulation can be added to maintain the proper temperature and some growers place their reservoir on the floor to keep the water cool.
  • Using Supplements – Calcium magnesium works against many of the common deficiencies, along with the addition of an organic micronutrient like seaweed extract.

A selection of products can be used to efficiently deliver nutrients to the plants in your hydroponic garden. You'll need beneficial fungus and beneficial bacteria to enhance the growth of roots and keep them clean and healthy. Enzymes also work to break down dead roots. Using a combination of these three additives results in a robust, expanded root zone that absorb nutrients faster and more efficiently.

Consider using B vitamin supplements, as well as fulvic acid and humic acid additives to boost metabolism and enhance nutrient uptake.

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